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Username Post: Penn Hoops' Student Data Analyst Commits Suicide        (Topic#20472)
Tiger69 
Postdoc
Posts: 2028

Reg: 11-23-04
09-08-17 12:14 AM - Post#232722    
    In response to SRP

Good read. I was amused by the author's hypothetical solution of reserving a quarter of the class for unmotivated or unqualified students to relieve some pressure on the highest achievers. When I was admitted as a "legacy" (not sure if that term was even used then) in 1965, I might have satisfied both categories. If I had been 4 years younger and applied in 1969, I have little doubt that my slot would have been filled by a much more motivated and intelligent young woman. So, while I am selfishly grateful to Princeton for not coeducating until after I was admitted, I am very happy that it did so, thus doubling its potential application pool and raising the bar for aspiring applicants. Princeton is a much finer institution now than when I attended. That said, the stresses present in an environment of so many extraordinarily bright, intelligent and highly motivated people cannot be ignored. But, a challenging liberal arts education among so talented a group of students is the antidote to hubris. Even if I was one of those undergraduates who had to live with the fact that I was not even close to the top quintile of my class, I learned at least that one can be happiest and most fulfilled when surrounded by others as or more intelligent and capable than himself.

 
SteveChop 
Masters Student
Posts: 587

Reg: 07-28-07
09-08-17 11:23 AM - Post#232730    
    In response to Streamers

I'd be curious how this more "relaxed" policy works out at the Friends school attended by your child and the Jewish day school attended by Penn Nation's child if in a few years, fewer students are admitted to Ivies or the most competitive schools after the parents have shelled out a small fortune in tuition at these high schools. Not predicting that as a result but just posing a hypothetical.

 
penn nation 
Professor
Posts: 9358

Reg: 12-02-04
Penn Hoops' Student Data Analyst Commits Suicide
09-08-17 12:09 PM - Post#232731    
    In response to SteveChop

That's a great question. I'll tell you that I'm among others in this thread that aren't so keen on sending my kids to Penn anyways for the reasons they stated, among others (even if they got in, and never mind if we could even afford it).

Definitely shelling out a lot of money for Jewish day school tuition. For that one high school with a dual curriculum, my boychick gets picked up by the bus at 7:05, school begins 45 minutes later and ends at 5:30. There are relatively few breaks during the day. If he goes straight home he gets home around 6:30.

But last night, he had JV basketball tryouts (1st cut) which were from 7:00 to 9:00 pm, so he stayed at school and I drove to pick him up. That tryout and the environment in the school and the other high school kids (many of whom had attended the same middle school together) was intimidating, with a lot of good talent.

Now my boychick has basketball talent, so he has a shot of getting through to the second cut (although no gimme). But it's a far cry from his Jewish middle school which was much more relaxed--anyone who wanted to be on the team got on (although truth be told my boychick was among the best players in the school and was captain for the past two years). Boychick #1 has an excellent work ethic and can easily multitask so can handle the pressure and stress but I'd love to see the school culture change.

It's the main reason why boychick #2 is attending a different Jewish high school which, although it also sends its graduates to top schools including Ivies on occasion, is much less pressured, has less homework, anyone who wants to be on the team gets on, etc. Boychick #2 is very very smart (particularly in math, where he's already smarter than his Nation parents) but has executive functioning issues and would totally fall through the cracks and disappear (and probably fail) at boychick #1's school.

In terms of applications to Penn, to the extent there will be a dropoff the real factor is going to be demographics and declining birth rates in this country as opposed to the hypothetical presented, IMHO.

To come back to the original post--this is but one of many, many factors that may be present in any one sad case. It may have played no role whatsoever here, the primary role, or a role among many others.

  • SteveChop Said:
I'd be curious how this more "relaxed" policy works out at the Friends school attended by your child and the Jewish day school attended by Penn Nation's child if in a few years, fewer students are admitted to Ivies or the most competitive schools after the parents have shelled out a small fortune in tuition at these high schools. Not predicting that as a result but just posing a hypothetical.




Edited by penn nation on 09-08-17 12:09 PM. Reason for edit: No reason given.

 
palestra38 
Professor
Posts: 15916

Reg: 11-21-04
Re: Penn Hoops&#039; Student Data Analyst Commits Suicide
09-08-17 12:27 PM - Post#232732    
    In response to penn nation

While declining birthrates and tuitions increases are major issues at just about all small liberal arts schools except for the most competitive, they have virtually no effect on the Ivies, where the demand seems to increase exponentially notwithstanding the cost or smaller pool. That is why Penn does what it does. By making itself almost unachievable, it allows it to create a demand which fosters assured tuition income and a body of donors...and that's why neither legacy admissions nor the overuse of early decision is likely to change. It works as a business model. I remember the financial crisis that resulted in the cancellation of Div 1 hockey in '78 (of which I complain regularly here)----it was only the stiffening of standards and competitive admissions that resulted in a huge increase in profitability and endowment.

And although my daughter loved Penn, it was a lot more fun in the '70s.

 
Cvonvorys 
PhD Student
Posts: 1157

Loc: Princeton, New Jersey
Reg: 10-11-06
Re: Penn Hoops&#039; Student Data Analyst Commits Suicide
09-08-17 02:58 PM - Post#232738    
    In response to palestra38

I'm not sure where all this kvetching about a Penn education is coming from. If your child prefers University of (fill in the blank) and gets accepted to University of (fill in the blank) and you think your child will do better at University of (fill in the blank), then by all means, eschew a Penn education. Last October on the ride home from Indiana after attending a Notre Dame v Miami football game (Catholics vs. Convicts) my son who's now a junior at Princeton High School said, "Dad... Don't take this the wrong way, but I don't want to go to Penn. I want to go to Notre Dame." To which I said, "Well, the hard part is getting in... If you get accepted, then mom & dad will pay for it."

I had a great Penn experience, but that doesn't mean it's a good fit for everyone. That being said, my 11-year-old son still wants to go to Penn... With how competitive it is to get accepted, I trust Penn Admissions still smiles on legacies.



 
palestra38 
Professor
Posts: 15916

Reg: 11-21-04
Re: Penn Hoops&#039; Student Data Analyst Commits Suicide
09-08-17 05:35 PM - Post#232741    
    In response to Cvonvorys

On this issue, I agree with you. Penn is a great great school. It's not for everyone. My point was that the change in admissions policies almost in all competitive admissions schools has changed the makeup of student bodies such that a greater percentage cannot deal with the pressure of either success or failure. It still is a small percentage that is affected this way. I have 2 kids---one went to Penn and loved it. The other works there now. So does my wife(which got me 75% off on my daughter's tuition). And I am renewing my season tickets. So you won't hear any hate towards Penn from me

 
rbg 
Senior
Posts: 381

Reg: 10-20-14
09-08-17 05:37 PM - Post#232742    
    In response to Cvonvorys

Application and attendance at more elite private and public schools should involve a young adult's ability to academically, socially and emotionally thrive at these schools.

There are certainly young people who enjoy the challenge of the competitive environments at these schools. There are also a significant number of students who think they can handle it when going through the application process, but find themselves demoralized as they compete for grades, social acceptance, extra-curricular groups, and internships. Within this group, there are those that bounce back, emotionally, over time, but there are some who suffer significant and permanent damage to their psyche. There are also some students who really cannot handle these environments, while still in high school, but feel compelled to apply to, and attend, these schools due to family, school and/or societal pressures.

Since it is difficult for a young adult to be so honest with oneself, and the consequences, in some cases, can be tragic, I wish that parents and high school officials objectively evaluate students and then be honest with them as they go through the process of selecting a university or college. Counting on Admission officials to be more open and honest in presentations, and to be more investigative in their application assessments seems highly unlikely.

With respect to your comment about legacies, Penn is more honest about it, for good or bad, than most schools. They look at parents and grandparents, undergraduate and graduate, when considering legacies. It does provide an advantage, but a student still needs a really strong application. However, the school only considers legacy status during the Early Decision phase. Trying to go through the Regular Decision phase, in many cases, to balance a strong acceptance with a favorable merit scholarship, is not something that Penn Admissions seems to appreciate.

 
UPIA1968 
Masters Student
Posts: 680
UPIA1968
Loc: Cornwall, PA
Reg: 11-20-06
09-08-17 09:21 PM - Post#232743    
    In response to rbg

A little perspective from the distant past. Penn in the Sixties was full-bore concentrating on graduate programs to the detriment of of undergraduate education. In my years there were just the quads for dorm, hardly any advisors beyond signing my course choices twice a year. The school was very competitive for grades, B's were hard to get. Finally, I commuted to school on the Subway/El. Oh, I forgot to say I was an Architecture major, a big toughie. School was hard for me.

I had the chance to also go to Bodwoin and would have certainly gotten a much better, individualized undergraduate education. Still I treasure my Penn connection, in part for family reasons, but mainly because it is such a full-service school. The Palestra was the capital of college hoops in those days and the Glee Club in which I sang was just as good then as now. So I guess, each school has its pluses and minuses in every age. It would have been great if I could have had Bowdoin's intimacy and Penn's scale. But that ain't the real world. And anyway Bowdoin is waaaaay north and I wouldn't have seen Larry James, the Mighty Burner be the first relay runner to break 44 seconds in the 440. I should also point out that my girlfriend of these 52 years went to Temple's nursing school. Not that was a real reason to stay in Philly!

 
Streamers 
PhD Student
Posts: 1737
Streamers
Loc: NW Philadelphia
Reg: 11-21-04
09-09-17 11:06 AM - Post#232745    
    In response to SteveChop

  • SteveChop Said:
I'd be curious how this more "relaxed" policy works out at the Friends school attended by your child and the Jewish day school attended by Penn Nation's child if in a few years, fewer students are admitted to Ivies or the most competitive schools after the parents have shelled out a small fortune in tuition at these high schools. Not predicting that as a result but just posing a hypothetical.


I did not want to give the impression in my post that the curriculum at my daughter's high school has become less rigorous. this is more about scheduling flexibility and baking some free time into the school day. They are acutely aware that they have to be protective of their reputation to preserve competitiveness for college admissions. This especially given their relative lack of grade inflation, avoidance of AP courses, and refusal to class ranking. Quakers do not encourage such things ;-) You are correct when you say that the parents who pay the freight at this school pay very close attention to the college admission data in general and Penn admissions in particular.

 
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